Tech

Dennis Wafula

ABB launches blockchain-based inverters for solar energy

International electrical engineering company ABB recently launched a pilot to examine how blockchain technology can be used to boost the role of solar in peer-to-peer energy trading and smart grids.

The project was a collaboration with an Italian energy aggregator Evolvere to deploy their blockchain technology that allows for transparent and secure peer-to-peer energy transactions, PVTech reported. This technology will be created in conjunction with Prosumer. The pilot will explore how blockchain technologies and applications could transform the market for smart grids.

Giampiero Frisio, head of ABB’s smart power business, said, “Using the capability of ABB to deliver digital solutions through ABB Ability and ABB’s inverter portfolio, including UNO-DM-PLUS solar inverters and REACT 2 inverters with storage, the pilot has opened-up a new wave of possibilities for energy markets to explore new and transformative models toward smart grid environments.”

He added: “The way people consume and harness their energy is changing. Prosumers, who use their photovoltaic systems, are looking at how they can not only produce and use the energy they create but also review how they can then share any excess energy between neighbors, communities and the wider grid.”

ABB seeks to make blockchain-ready inverters so energy market participants can reduce both capital and operational expenditure costs. These inverters would require utilities, energy companies, and aggregators to cut both capex and opex project costs, accelerating business cases for subsidy-free renewable.

Reportedly, the project has allowed ABB and its partners to create “viable and proven solutions for the market in anticipation of new dynamics and regulatory frameworks coming in to place for blockchain technology.”

After the pilot, ABB plans to conduct further research to explore how it can ensure that all of its inverters in the same class are compatible with blockchain technology.

ABB Group, which reported an operating revenue of over $28.5 billion in 2018, is actively engaged in various “smart” and renewable energy projects, including smart gas and electric cars. ABB manufactures and sells electrification, industrial automation, robotics and motion products for customers in utilities, and industry and transport. The company has more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.

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